• Publishing Date: 28 February 2020
  • Writer: Edibe Beyza

Today, pollution is one of the biggest problems. Air pollution is at the record levels. Fossil fuels, exhaust fumes, greenhouse gases fuel this causes an increase in pollution. Even the blue light we are exposed to on phone and computer screens is just the tip of the iceberg. The stars in the sky have become invisible due to the abundance of artificial light sources around us. Environmental pollution is one of our biggest problems. Ecosystems are degraded due to dense waste. Many things like this trigger each other, turning the world into a hard-to-live planet. So, is it possible for us to reduce this on an individual scale? If we tell you this is possible by calculating your carbon footprint? So let's get to know the carbon footprint in this content and take a look at ways to reduce our carbon footprint.

Mankind tends to pollute nature in many ways and spoil natural life. The effect of the increasing world population is also undeniable. So, what can we do instead of constantly complaining? By calculating our own carbon footprint, we can see how much we are harming the environment, and so we can develop solutions to reduce it, rather than think unnecessary to repair it. "What is carbon footprint?", "How to calculate?", "How to reduce carbon footprint?" We will seek answers to these kind of questions.

What is a carbon footprint?
Carbon footprint, also known as carbon emission, refers to greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases have many types such as methane and carbon dioxide. They are generally named as this since they contain carbon molecules in most of them. Knowing greenhouse gases or unconsciously; It is released into the atmosphere by individuals, companies, institutions, the products we use. Thus, the carbon footprint of individuals, companies, institutions, products and services is formed. Emitted gases are absorbed by the atmosphere and their bad effects are reduced. Thus, nature tries to minimize harm in its cycle. However, excessive gas emission prevents this suction process from taking place efficiently. As a result, the atmosphere layer is pierced. Perforation of the layer causes events such as deterioration of temperature balance and emergence of climate problems. After that, it continues like a chain, affecting the vegetation and decreasing the diversity. Thus, too much gas emission disrupts the balance of our planet.

Among the greenhouse gases, the most emitted gas is carbon dioxide by human. This gas usually emerges from the use of fossil fuels in homes, factories, power stations. For this reason, renewable energy sources are the easiest way to reduce gas emissions. Carbon dioxide does not only cause harm to the atmosphere. Other greenhouse gases are equally effective. The key point here is to reduce carbon emissions. In this regard, we have a lot of duties both individually and massively. A person worldwide has an average of four tons of carbon footprints. When we multiply this by the world population, it becomes clear that we produce too much harmful gas that our atmosphere cannot cope with.
However, it is up to us as humans to at least reduce this negative effect. This is called ecological footprint. It can be defined as calculating the natural balance disrupted by human beings and determining the amount to be brought back to nature. The carbon footprint accounts for six tenths of the ecological footprint. In other words, when we minimize the gases emitted logically, we will take a big step to maintain ecological balance .

How is carbon footprint calculated? 

For this calculation; factors such as the size of the house, the electronic devices used, the use of cars, how often travel by plane, and the contribution to recycling are taken into consideration. Thanks to the mentioned factors, an approximate value is obtained. There are also many sites that measure carbon footprint. Although the values ​​are approximate, it can be seen how much carbon is emitted. The most important reason for the approximate value of the output is direct and indirect gas emission. Because the factors we consider during the production of a product are obvious. However, carbon emissions that we could not calculate might have occurred. So we cannot calculate our carbon emissions perfectly. However, the approximate value we find is sufficient to show us how much we harm the environment.

How to reduce
After completing our calculation and observation, the most important part is to try to reduce it. How do we do this? As a first step, it is very important to avoid waste. In addition, it is the most efficient way to determine in which area we cause carbon emissions and to concentrate on that area. Here, individual consciousness comes into play. It is in our hands to know ourselves and prevent damage to nature. Although we can not prevent our carbon emission perfectly, make sure to decrease it gradually even if it is a little, which will make great contributions to the nature.

In addition to reducing our carbon footprint, planting trees also contributes greatly to carbon absorption. Thanks to the planting activities that take place thanks to various institutions and organizations, we can support nature's lifting this load by increasing our green areas. For this, it is a good idea to plant enough seedlings from a site you trust to match your carbon footprint.